The Collective Failure of Gun-Free Zones

(from: Shutterstock)

(from: Shutterstock)

President Obama, in his address on the Oregon Community College shooting, asserts that we are “collectively answerable”. As a responsibly armed American I heartily agree—we are answerable for the disastrous failure of so-called “gun-free zones” to stop mass shootings.

The Chattanooga recruiting center, Charleston AME church, and Lafayette theater shootings, and now the massacre at Umpqua Community College all happened in so-called “gun free zones”.  

Despite Oregon law to the contrary, UCC had a policy that restricted the possession or use of firearms on campus. The UCC student code of conduct states: “students may be subject to disciplinary action” for “Possession or use, without written authorization, of firearms…”

This creates a virtual “gun-free zone”. As Kevin Starrett, executive director of the Oregon Firearms Education Foundation recently told NBC news, “Most students see the rules and they just think that’s what it means and they obey them”.

It is relative to our common life together.  To the body politic” President Obama preached.  Although Obama is right about our collective burden, he is wrong on what the focus of our efforts should be. Collectively, we have to answer to the failure of “gun free zones”.  How many more people have to die before we recognize the failure?

This is a political choice that we make, to allow this to happen every few months in America.  We are collectively answerable to those families who lose their loved ones because of our inaction.”  Once again Obama is correct. When we allow another so-called “gun free zone” to go unchecked, we put every person who enters that “gun free zone” in danger. This stark reality has been shown time after time lately, every time President Obama and his gun grabbing minions call for more gun control.  Even though none of their “gun control” would have stopped any of the deaths or slowed the gunman, they all just want to “do something”.

He goes on to say: “The notion that… our freedom and our constitution prohibits any modest regulation of how we use a deadly weapon,”   Has he read the Second Amendment, especially the simple declarative phrase “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed”? Declining even to toe the usual gun grabber’s line of “common sense gun laws”, he goes straight to “modest regulation”.  What is so modest about restricting the legal and constitutional right of a college campus of 2500 students to defend themselves from an armed assailant?

He condescendingly asks if our “views are being properly represented by the organization that suggests it’s speaking for [us]”.  If he is asking about the National Rifle Association, the United States Concealed Carry Association, the Second Amendment Foundation, or Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership (my personal favorites) the answer is yes, yes, yes, and yes.  These organizations stand up for the rights of the American people, even those who don’t realize the rights they may be missing.  Those rights are what make America what it is today and will make America even better tomorrow and next year.

Obama concludes by promising to bring this up every time it happens and by repeating his mantra that we need to change our laws.

I cannot agree more!  Each time this happens we should continue to bring this issue up.   We can do something about it, and we do need to change the laws.  We have to get rid of the so-called “gun free zones” whether by law or by local policy and rules!

Famed self-defense guru Massad Ayoob has referred to “gun free zones” as “hunting preserves for psychopathic murders”. This simple but profound truth has been proven time after time.  It is time for the killing to stop.  End “gun free zones”.


Sean Brodale, MD— Dr. Sean Brodale is a family practitioner in Iowa. He is pursuing the right to carry in hospitals for eligible medical personnel. At DRGO he is involved in membership and public engagement projects.

All DRGO articles by Sean Brodale, DO.